Many companies sell communication solutions but lack the product expertise and experience to recommend the right product or migration strategy for your business. They’re simply focused on making sales.
A true technology partner is focused on developing a long-term relationship with your business. It acts as a trusted advisor — actively engaged in your mission, understanding your goals, and fully dedicated to helping you achieve them.
The Right Balance: A Local Partner with Global Backing
When you’re evaluating technology partners, proximity is essential. Your ideal technology partner should be near enough to your business that company representatives can get to your site, if needed, in a reasonable timeframe.
But size and stability are essential, too. Choose a partner backed by a well-known, proven global organization with a robust, established partner program.
This combination will give you peace of mind, knowing your partner is fully trained in their communications systems, and you have fast, easy access to additional expertise and insight when required.
You’re an expert in your business area, but your technology partner’s job is to bring expertise in the best communications strategies and solutions to drive your business forward.
Look for a knowledgeable partner who can clearly explain each technology and solution, the difference between an update and an upgrade, the reasons you need both, and the best way to approach a communication solution that can grow alongside your business.
Your technology partner should also be able to speak about the security risks of using outdated communications technologies and the security benefits of keeping your system current. It should be able to help you evaluate the different deployment models available to ensure you choose the approach that best fits your business.
Flexible and in it for the Long-Term
Be wary of technology companies that take a short-term “in-and-out” or “one-size-fits-all” approach. If you feel their primary goal is to sell you on a particular strategy or solution – ‘move to the cloud today or go away’– or simply to get you to sign on the dotted line, it’s time to look for another partner.
The ideal technology partner understands where you want to go but isn’t panicking to get you there. They realize you need to make decisions that are right for your business. They also understand that there are as many different paths to communication solutions as there are companies. As true partners, they take a consultative approach to meeting your requirements in the short term and the long term. Their goal is to get you from here to there in the way that best matches your business goals, budget, and priorities.
Specialist in Your Industry and Business Size
Depending on your industry, choosing a technology partner with specialized knowledge of industry requirements and a history of working in your industry can be extremely important. For example:
- Businesses in the healthcare industry need communications systems that enable compliance with regulatory and privacy requirements, helping streamline workflows and improve conversations between care providers and patients.
- Businesses in the hospitality industry need communications systems that help them improve guest services, simplify complex workflows, and integrate communications across locations and systems.
- Government organizations need communications systems that reduce operational costs, enhance service delivery, and make it easy to support a hybrid local and remote workforce.
Best Practice: Ask a Lot of Questions
You must feel fully informed and comfortable with your choice of a technology partner. When evaluating potential partners, don’t hesitate to ask every question that comes to mind. Consider questions related to:
- Technology options, where they’re installed, and how they’re managed.
- Communications features and functions and how they’re accessed.
- Short-term and long-term IT efforts required on your side.
- Solution deployment and migration processes and timing.
- Payment options, schedules, and processes.
- Ongoing communications and notifications about updates and upgrades.
- After-sales service and support.
Talk to the Partner’s Other Customers
The best technology partners will ask if you’d like to speak with other customers they’ve served. If they don’t proactively offer the opportunity to contact their other customers – especially customers in your industry – ask for it. If they hesitate or don’t want you to speak with their other customers, it’s important to ask why that is.
TCI supports voice and data network solutions for 3,000+ businesses, associations, and governments in the DC region. Let’s talk about your organization. Contact TCI today at (703) 321-3030 or GetHelp@tcicomm.com.